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Dissapointed with performance of new build pc

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September 9, 2009 6:14:04 PM

Over the last few months I have built a new pc and I am really disappointed with the performance when playing games. I thought I was building a pretty good spec but I cant even run C&C 3 at high settings with a decent frame rate.

I have a AMD Phenom 9500 quad core processor, 4GB OCZ Ram and 2 HD4870 in crossfire.

Does this add up to anyone?

Is my pc just not up to scratch?

Thanks for any help

Kevin
September 9, 2009 6:17:13 PM

The AMD first generation Phenoms are widely regarded as bunk. However, your GPU solution should be more than enough to run games at any resolution below 25x16.
September 9, 2009 6:20:10 PM

to put it bluntly the first phenom's were totally crap it should've criminal to sell them but with a cpu upgrade you will see a huge increase
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September 9, 2009 6:20:11 PM

i'm only running the game (C&C3) at 1280x1024 and can only get 30 FPS on low settings
September 9, 2009 6:42:24 PM

You have 2 4870s and are running at 12x10? Is that your native res or are you scaling down to that?
September 9, 2009 6:42:35 PM

astrodudepsu is right, but not all the performace on games depends from the GPU...maybe your processor is making an bottleneck.
September 9, 2009 6:46:53 PM

See what happens when you take out one 4870 card. If performance improves I presume its a cpu bottleneck when using two ati 4870s (Just an idea I may be talking rubbish for all I know)
September 9, 2009 6:49:17 PM

Try upping the settings and see if your FPS decreases at all, RTS games tend to be heavily CPU limited so you can upgrade the quality significantly without hitting a GPU bottleneck, a single 4870 should be able to max it out easily. What PSU are you running? That may be the source of your throttling.

Found the source of your issue

Quote:
Don't be surprised if you see some very low results, as Command & Conquer 3 has a frame rate cap of 30 frames per second.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6168067/index.html
September 9, 2009 6:49:46 PM

I ran one 4870 for a couple of months and couldn't run on high settings now that i've added a second it doesn't seem to have done anything noticeable. My maximum resolution on my monitor is 1280x1024.
September 9, 2009 6:51:02 PM

I just bout a new PSU to run both cards its a hiper power 880watt
September 9, 2009 7:02:30 PM

IMO the problem is the CPU, few months ago I ran my GTX260 with a 64 X2 6400+...and the performance was very low, when change for the Phenom II X4 955, the performance until today is very good.
September 9, 2009 7:06:55 PM

At 1280x1024, even one 4870 is total waste.

One 4870 is enough for 1680x1050 gaming and even some 1920x1080.

Some RTS as noted are capped to 30fps.

Try some games like Crysis / Far cry 2.

Please get a better monitor. Sell the second 4870 and buy a good 22" lcd.

September 9, 2009 7:15:59 PM

Yeah, that CPU is a huge bottleneck, especially at low monitor resolutions. Assuming your motherboard is compatible you should get a phenom II cpu and overclock it. You will see big improvements.
September 9, 2009 7:18:07 PM

There is no CPU bottlenecking going on, its built into the game that it cant exceed 30, since he can get 30 at low that means he just needs to start bumping up the settings until it drops below 30 which i doubt it will, i can run stuff on high with a 4850, the 4870 should be way more than enough.
September 9, 2009 7:21:29 PM

My monitor is a Sony SDM-HS95P and I really like it so dont plan on upgrading just to improve resolution.

As soon as I go to middle settings on C&C3 it starts running at 20-25 fps.

So is there nothing I can do here except scrap the CPU?
September 9, 2009 7:30:06 PM

overclock your cpu
September 9, 2009 7:39:44 PM

as I cant run a game such as C&C3 on mid settings without performance dropping does everyone think that there is something seriously wrong with my CPU?
September 9, 2009 7:47:25 PM

kev3kev3 said:
as I cant run a game such as C&C3 on mid settings without performance dropping does everyone think that there is something seriously wrong with my CPU?


What's wrong with it is that it's a crappy original phenom cpu. They also overclock like crap. Get a phenom II.
September 9, 2009 8:17:54 PM

Can anyone advise a few good choices if im to replace the CPU?

Also does it mean reinstalling windows?
September 9, 2009 8:42:11 PM

kev3kev3 said:
Can anyone advise a few good choices if im to replace the CPU?

Also does it mean reinstalling windows?


first: amd phenom x4 9500 is much better than my older core 2 duo e6300, which was able to run this game at maximum setting with a card much weaker than yours (hd 4670).

second: after upgrading to amd phenom 2 x3 710 ( which made a huge difference in gta 4 - most cpu bound game ) i didnt notice much difference in the performance of C&C3, which means it depends mostly on the graphics card ( your single 4870 is 3 times my 4670 so what about 2 in crossfire ).

so there is something wrong with your power supply or graphics drivers or system, but dont change your processor as it is not that much of bottleneck for the current games (x360 - Ps3 era), not before next generation xbox and playstation or for new pc only games ( which also depends mostly on the graphics card ).
September 9, 2009 9:02:48 PM

guys i think its not his cpu that is bottlenecking his system, although he could use a better one...

anyway the main problem here is that the C&C3 game is being capped to 30 fps

why you might say? well i have C&C Red Alert 3 playing on a hd4870 and an e8500 and when i run fraps it tells me im only getting 30 fps with all setting at the highest. i even ran AA to x8 and i still had 30 fps.
September 9, 2009 9:05:58 PM

Yes we know he cant go past 30fps on c&c3 the new problem is this

Quote:
As soon as I go to middle settings on C&C3 it starts running at 20-25 fps.
September 9, 2009 9:20:15 PM

I have seen an

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BlackEdition, Sok AM3, 3.2GHz, 8MB Total Cache, 125W, Retail

for £144.00

Is this a good choice for a replacement cpu?

If anyone thinks that I am going to be able to solve the issue without buying a new cpu can they please let me know what i need to do??

Also if anyone thinks buying a cpu is not going to help at all please let me know...

Thanks to everyone who has helped so far..
September 9, 2009 9:29:15 PM

you would first need to see if your mother board supports it but the 720 is also a great choice
September 9, 2009 9:31:17 PM

ok,

Starting again, I have built a system over the last 6 months but it has never been right in the fact that I cant run some games at full spec which I expected I would be able to run. Such as C&C3, World at War, Crysis, all at resolution 1280x1024 as this is my monitors max res.

For an example if I run C&C3 at mid spec I get 20-25 fps (with fraps)

The computer has never been any different since it was built.

CPU - AMD Phenom(tm) 9500 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
Motherboard GA-MA790X-DS4
RAM OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 / 1066 MHz / Reaper HPC Edition / 4GB / Dual Channel
CPU cooler Akasa cpu cooler
Video Card 2 Radeon HD4870 in crossfire
Power Supply Hiper 880w
Hard drive Hitachi Drivestar 500GB plus 1TB external Hard Drive
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit

September 9, 2009 9:47:07 PM

That's the board Cyberpower used in that machine they sent to TH that got the crappy review as I recall.

Check your CPU core temps and make sure it's not throttling back due to heat.
You haven't listed your case.
What brand 4870 and what cooling solution is used on them? That's a lot of heat if the case is not a good one.

Hiper PSUs have had a lot of issues, but I would not expect a loss of FPS as a result.

It would be a good idea to remove one 4870 for testing though.
September 9, 2009 9:53:39 PM

well your board supports am3 but i found a lot of heat issues with that board specially the north bridge
September 9, 2009 9:54:02 PM

the case is CIT ATX Gamer Case

cpu core temps all at 42

they are sapphire 4870 512 mb GDDR5
September 9, 2009 9:55:46 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cyberpower-gamer-dr...

I'm not saying it IS the motherboard, I'm just saying that since that article I stopped recommending that board. I find it suspect.... The Cyberpower build performed worse than other similar builds done by others, and the MB was the biggest difference.

Of course, you want to have all the latest drivers installed.

September 9, 2009 9:56:11 PM

ye north brige is normally in the 80s
September 9, 2009 10:00:25 PM

42C at idle is pretty warm.

I see a few different CIT gamer cases, but none of them look well cooled. Take the side off and point a household fan in there, see what happens.
September 9, 2009 10:19:04 PM

If you suspect your cpu is the issue, then watching cpu utilization while you game can help confirm that for you.
September 10, 2009 3:13:59 AM

Sorry to hear you are having problems with your build. While the hardware is not the best of choices, you certainly should be able to run that game at high settings with that hardware setup at that resolution and capped at 30fps for that game. So something hardware related is faulty.

My guess would be power supply or heat related.

I don't know if that PS is modular or not, but I know that power supply has 4 +12V rails. Two at 18A and two at 30A. Perhaps one of the rails is faulty or the system is unbalanced. You want to make sure you are using both of the 30A rails for the GPUs, one each. If you don't, then the PS will become unstable and give you unpredictable results.

The first thing I would try is pulling out one of the 4870's and try running it with a single GPU using the PCI-Express connector on one of the 30A rails. . If that doenst make a difference try using the other 30A rail.

I would think that should tell you if that is power supply related or not.

Otherwise, I think its a heat related issue. If the above doesnt work, swap out the one GPU you have in there with the 2nd one and try again. (that will also rule out a faulty GPU card). If that doesnt work then its not your GPU overheating or faulty card. It may be CPU overheating. Kind of a dumb question but you did use a thermal paste when you put the fan on the CPU, right? I'm sure you probably did but just being thorough ;)  And all the fans are spinning everywhere, right?

Also double check your RAM sticks are in the correct slots (ie if you are only using 2 sticks and your board had 4 slots, make sure they are in the "correct slots" to take advantage of dual channel. If the 2nd RAM is in the wrong slot it may run single channel if your mobo allows.

Anyways give that a shot and let us know how it goes.
September 10, 2009 8:25:51 AM

Yobigd thanks very much for your response.

I dont know how to change the rails??

I only bought the power supply 2 days ago and don't think it is faulty, i had the same problem with the last power supply when i had only one card running.

I have just removed one of the graphics cards and run with just one but no improvement.

I did use thermal paste and when monitoring all the temps they may be slightly high at 40 for the cpus and up to 50 when playing a game for the gpu. I wouldn't think these would cause significant issues.

The ram is also in the correct slots.

:(  any other ideas??

Thanks again, Kev
September 10, 2009 9:19:44 AM

I have now tried both graphics cards by themselves on both slots in the motherboard and no difference what so ever. Trying to run C&C3 on middle settings im getting less than 25 fps. If i play a skirmish map where there is no units on the map i can hit 30fps dont know if this helps decide the problem.

Really appreciate everyones help and suggestions....
September 10, 2009 2:20:20 PM

bump any more ideas before i put it down to the processor being RUBBISH?
September 10, 2009 5:17:21 PM

Sorry to hear your computer sucks. The First Gen Phenoms sucked ass.

My word of advice: Get an Intel set up. The new i5 750 will kick some ass.
September 10, 2009 5:20:27 PM

Kev, I think its your cpu as well. But why not prove it to yourself by gaming and watching cpu utilization?

If your cpu is choking, its utilization will show that.
September 10, 2009 5:31:27 PM

If I run AMD overdrive and alt and tab out to look at cpu usage when playing C&C3 im only looking at about 70% on each core.
September 10, 2009 5:40:28 PM

Interesting. I wouldn't have thought C&C3 was threaded enough to whack two cores.

What OC are you running?
September 10, 2009 5:43:35 PM

OC?
September 10, 2009 6:01:11 PM

I think he means overclock (OC)


Did we get temps on the CPU underload? Also, check GPU temps, Xfiring can generate some heat ^^

I would run temp check on everything

The processor being rubbish or not compared to other processor is somewhat of a moot point because shouldn't a 9500 be able to handle C&C3? I mean, really.
September 10, 2009 6:09:09 PM

not running any overclock.

cpu and gpu temps stay a constant 40-55 in game and out of game

September 10, 2009 6:21:10 PM

I know C&C is the one you are concerned with, but do you have any other games or anything which could give us a reference point? Heck, even 3dmark06 would show if the CPU is running abnormally slow.
September 10, 2009 6:38:23 PM

i cant play any RTS games on high settings, for example Empire Total War, World in Conflict, C&C 3.

I can play bioshock high settings no prob and overlord 2 no prob.
September 10, 2009 6:52:07 PM

kev3kev3 said:
i cant play any RTS games on high settings, for example Empire Total War, World in Conflict, C&C 3.

I can play bioshock high settings no prob and overlord 2 no prob.


Well, that makes sense. All three of those RTS games are CPU hungry.

September 10, 2009 6:56:22 PM

Well im pleased with that reply as ive just ordered the AMD Phenom II x4 955 black edition. Arrives tomorrow!!

woop woop

Will let everyone know if it solves my problems....

Fingers crossed..
September 10, 2009 7:03:58 PM

Best of luck ^^
September 10, 2009 7:45:35 PM

kev3kev3 said:
Well im pleased with that reply as ive just ordered the AMD Phenom II x4 955 black edition. Arrives tomorrow!!

woop woop

Will let everyone know if it solves my problems....

Fingers crossed..


I'm not sure, but you might need to update your Bios because the X4 955 is AM3 and your X4 9500 is still AM2+. To see the full potential of the X4 955 you'll need a AM3 board and DDR3 ram.
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